Afghan civilian casualties hit record high in 2015: UN

Kabul, Feb 14 (IANS) The overall Afghan civilian casualties hit a record high in 2015 as about 11,000 non-combatants were killed or injured in conflict-related violence last year, a UN mission here said on Sunday.

The increased ground fighting in and around populated areas along suicide blasts and other attacks in major cities were the main causes of conflict-related civilian deaths and injuries in 2015, the report titled “2015 Annual Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict,” said.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan documented 11,002 civilian casualties (3,545 deaths and 7,457 injured) in 2015, exceeding the previous record levels of civilian casualties that occurred in 2014, Xinhua news agency reported.

The latest figures show an overall increase of four percent during 2015 in total civilian casualties from the previous year. UNAMA began its systematic documentation of civilian casualties in 2009,” according to the report.

The annual report, produced by the UNAMA in coordination with the UN Human Rights Office, has blamed anti-government elements for most of the casualties on the non-combatants.

It has attributed 62 percent of the casualties to the Taliban and other insurgent groups, while 17 percent were attributed to security forces (14 percent from Afghan security forces, two percent from foreign forces, and one percent from pro-government armed groups).

Some 17 percent of civilian casualties were unattributed while four percent of casualties were caused by explosive remnants of war, according to the report.

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